By Festus Fifen.
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd) said the Amnesty Office has prepared the necessary documents to pay all the 2016 outstanding stipends and allowances to beneficiaries of the Programme.
In a statement by the Media & Communication Consultant to the
Presidential Amnesty Programme Owei Lakemfa, General Boroh said all that is left is the necessary cash backing for the balance 2016 payments as the Amnesty office has concluded all arrangements with the Finance Ministry, the Budget Office, the Office of the Accountant General and the Central Bank stressing that the Amnesty Office has received assurances that the necessary funds to pay the backlog of the 2016 stipend, training, education, vocation and empowerment of the beneficiaries will soon be released.
The statement however made it clear that no payments for any part of 2017 is possible because the Budget for the current year is yet to be passed or signed into law.
General Boroh while commending the exemplary conduct of the Amnesty beneficiaries in the trying times the Programme faced due to the paucity of funds assured that adequate provisions have been made in the 2017 Budget to ensure that the financial challenges are not experienced again.
He advised the Amnesty beneficiaries to take advantage of the Federal Government’s focus on agriculture including the liberal loans like the Central Bank’s Anchor Borrowers Programme and those of the Bank of Industry.
The retired General also added that The Amnesty Office also has its own set of agriculture and aquatic programmes and training which are being gradually expanded to encompass all the beneficiaries.